When planning your dream vacations in Santorini we know we want to enjoy its dreamy views and postcard sunsets but… do you know where to stay in Santorini? If you’re still in doubts, you’re in the right place.
Oía, Imerovigli, Fira… you may recognize these names, right? In this post you will discover that in Santorini there are a number of alternatives, for every budget and every type of traveler.
- Where to stay in Santorini
- Stunning views to the caldera
- South of Santorini
- Less visited places in Santorini
- What’s the best area where to stay Santorini?
- Transportation in Santorini
- Discounts in hotels and apartments in Santorini
Where to stay in Santorini
Santorini may look like a small island but it has a number of villages and accommodation alternatives: from boutique hotels with a view, to small beach hotels and hidden treasure.
In this post you will discover the advantages and disadvantages of every part of Santorini:
Stunning views to the caldera
Oía is the most beautiful town in Santorini and it’s probably the prettiest in the Greek islands – yeah, even more than Mykonos Town. It’s the most exclusive part of the island, with epic views and all the postcard places everywhere, including the blue domes and its world famous sunset. It’s also popular for honeymooners and engagements.
Apart from its exclusive hotels, in Oía you will find the main street with beautiful restaurants, cafes and one of the most beautiful libraries in the world – Atlantis Books.
Where to stay in Oía: Canaves Oia Hotel, a luxury hotel especially recommended for its location, in the quieter side of Oía. Here you can have the privacy that the hotels in the caldera lack (think hundreds of tourists trying to get their instagram shots).
Advantages of staying in Oía: it’s the most beautiful and exclusive area of the island and once the sun sets, it’s very calm.
Disadvantages of staying in Oía: your privacy can be compromised as there are tourists taking photos in every single corner. In cruise ship days the town is so busy that it’s not easy to walk those crowded narrow streets, as it’s the most touristy area in Santorini.
Imerovigli is located in the highest point in Santorini and as you can imagine, the views are quite memorable to the caldera and Skaros Rock. Oía has the most famous sunset, but the view from Imerovigli is also wonderful and more importantly, you can enjoy it far from the crowds.
Where to stay in Imerovigli: Kasimatis Suites, recommended for its location and the panoramic views, including an unique perspective of the sunset over the caldera. The staff is also great and it’s a great value for the price, with your private bathtub on your terrace.
Advantages of staying in Imerovigli: Imerovigli is a less expensive and busy alternative to Oía and the view is also beautiful. The trekking to Skaros Rock is a must during a trip to Santorini.
Disadvantages of staying in Imerovigli: you won’t find budget friendly places in tis area.
Firostefani is a very good option if you’re looking for tranquility and cheaper prices with a view to the caldera. and restaurants nearby. Firostefani is perfectly located, 15 minutes walking distance from Imerovigli and Fira.
Where to stay in Firostefani: Dana Villas, recommended for its panoramic views and an incredible breakfast that is served at the terrace. If you want to stay in Santorini without breaking the bank, I’d recommend you Erato Apartments, with a view to the see (the other side of the caldera) and everything you need for your stay, including swimming pool and jacuzzi.
Advantages of staying in Firostefani: Firostefani has luxury options at the caldera and budget alternatives looking to the other side of the island. It’s also really well located between Fira and Imerovigli, so you can go walking and avoid transportation.
Disadvantages of staying in Firostefani: Firostefani is not as beautiful as its neighbors Fira and Imerovigli, but it’s still a great location.
Fira is the heart of Santorini and also the most touristically developed. Expect way more souvenirs shops, fast food restaurants, traffic and tourists, but also a wider variety of hotels for every budget. It’s also the best area if you’re looking for nightlife.
Advantages of staying in Fira: Fira is the heart of Santorini so it’s really well connected with anywhere else in the island. It also has a wide variety of restaurants and shops and it’s still beautiful.
Disadvantages of staying in Fira: Fira gathers the bigger amount of tourists and all the touristy shops and restaurants make it a little less charming.
South of Santorini
The south of Santorini hides some beautiful secrets that are well worth a visit: the Red beach, the Megalochori ruins and an unforgettable sunset.
Akrotiri is the name of the archaeological site that gives the name to this little town in the south of Santorini. The most famous tourist attraction in the south of the island is the Red Beach, the most beautiful beach in Santorini.
Where to stay in Akrotiri: Astarte Suites, recommended for the panoramic views and the infinite pool. It’s the perfect place to relax and disconnect. It’s holidays time!
Advantages of staying in Akrotiri: Ventajas de dormir en Akrotiri: the views are amazing and the sunset is something else. For those looking for absolute tranquility this place is perfect, apart from everything.
Disadvantages of staying in Akrotiri: there’s not much to do and see in Akrotiri, you could visit everything in just half a day. Because of that, you will need to hire your own transportation to visit other parts of Santorini.
Megalochori is a lovely little town, really picturesque, where you can get an authentic experience meeting locals and escaping the hustle and bustle from the north of the town.
Where to stay in Megalochori: Athermi Suites, recommended for the views, decor and staff.
Advantages of staying in Megalochori: tranquility, better prices and getting to know the real life in the island.
Disadvantages of staying in Megalochori: as Akrotiri, there’s not much to do so you’ll need to rent a car or a motorbike to explore around the island.
Kamari y Perissa
If you want to stay close to the airport, Kamari is the place. Almost every hotel in the area offers a paid airport transfer. Kamari and Perissa are the most populated beaches in Santorini.
Where to stay in Kamari: Hotel Sunshine, with a lovely location in front of the sea.
Where to stay in Perissa: Meltemi Village Hotel, recommended for its huge pool and great value for the money.
Advantages of staying in Kamari o Perissa: if you’re looking for a summer holiday including some beach time and without breaking the bank, Kamari and Perissa are the best option.
Disadvantages of staying in Kamari or Perissa: Kamari and Perissa have nothing to do with the postcard perfect Santorini. To get to Oía from there you’ll have to rent a car or a bike or use the public bus.
Less visited places in Santorini
Santorini has many little villages where you can get an authentic and also budget-friendly experience if you decide to stay there. It’s recommended if you plan to explore the island by bike, quad or car.
Karterados is just 2 km away from Fira and it’s not far from the airport, so it’s really convenient. Some of the houses and churches are really instagram worthy but it doesn’t get as many visitors as other villages. If you decide to stay in Karterados hire a moto or quad so you don’t need to use public transportation every time.
Where to stay in Karterados: Floralia, a small hotel where you can stay in Santorini for just 30€ a night. It’s a modest place that offers a lot of advantages, like free transfers to the port or the airport at any time with no extra cost (even at night!). You can expect a wonderful staff and enjoy Santorini with a low budget.
Pyrgos is, by the way, Santorini’s old capital city. It’s a picturesque town with a castle, a monastery and 33 churches: that’s a lot! It’s not as visited as the rest of the towns in Santorini because it doesn’t have a view to the caldera, but it’s quite interesting. In Pyrgos you can find boutique and budget hotels with lower prices. As Karterados, it’s recommended to have your own transportation.
Were to stay in Pyrgos: Boutique Hotel Anagennisis, recommended for its decor, location and breakfast.
Advantages of staying in Karterados or Pyrgos: they’re not as touristy so the prices are more budget friendly and you can expect a great staff and facilities.
Disadvantages of staying in Karterados or Pyrgos: as in other parts in Santorini, you will need to rent a bike, a car and a quad.
What’s the best area where to stay Santorini?
So, what’s the best area where to stay in Santorini?
Of course, this depends on your preferences and your budget:
If you’re looking for a memorable and unique hotel experience in the most beautiful part of the island, then choose a boutique hotel in Oía or Imerovigli.
If you travel with a tight budget but you still want to stay in the most beautiful part of Santorini, then book your hotel in Fira or Firostefani.
If you want to explore Santorini on your own and not spend much in accommodation, then look for a hotel in Karterados or Pyrgos or at Kamari and Perissa beaches. You can also find apartments, hostels, camping areas and airbnb options in the island. Take into account that you will have to spend a bit more in transportation if you choose to stay a bit away from the touristy areas.
Prices vary depending on the season. If your trip is in peak season (june to september) try to book your stay well in advance.
Transportation in Santorini
It doesn’t matter where you stay in Santorini, you will need transportation. There are a few options:
Walking: you can definitely visit Fira, Firostefani and Imerovigli by feet. You can even hike from Imerovigli to Oía (5,5km) – if you do so, don’t forget to bring water, a hat and sunscreen!
Public bus: the public bus works really great in Santorini – although expect a huge queue after sunset in Oía. Every trip costs around 2€ so it can be worth it to rent a bike or a quad.
Moto, quad or car: if you know how to ride a bike, it’s ideal for Santorini. Just make sure it’s powerful enough to go up the hills on the way to Oía. Quads and cars are also a good option, but not as practical when it comes parking or traffic jams (really common during high season).
Taxi or private transfer: another option are taxis and private transfers. My advice is that you book it with your hotel, especially if your flight is early before sunrise or late after midnight. It’s not as easy to find a taxi at those times of the day.
Discounts in hotels and apartments in Santorini
If you’re booking via booking.com, get a 10% discount on your stay here.
If it’s your first time using Airbnb, get a 25€ discount for your first stay here.